Writing the Perfect iProfile CV
Go back a few thousand years and us Homo sapiens weren’t anything special to look at. We walked
with a hunch, talked in grunts and had a life expectancy of around 30 years. Isn’t evolution a
beautiful thing? The standard CV has been around for a fair while and hasn’t kept up with the
times, especially when it comes to working for you online; so we can be thankful that the CV
has evolved into the iProfile, which is the preferred
CV template of leading recruiters
because it is a searchable, sendable, printable and online version of the CV. Even though
the CV has evolved, there are still some excellent
CV writing tips that
you should follow when compiling your iProfile.
Choosing the right content for your CV
One of the most common problems faced when writing CVs is deciding what information to include.
To decide on the most suitable content for your iProfile you should begin with a long list of
all your skills, experiences, jobs, achievements and positions of responsibility you’ve held.
This list shouldn’t just include hard skills (such as exam qualifications) but should also
include evidence for a list of the transferable skills you’ve got (such as negotiating or
communication) and the experiences that you’ve had which most clearly demonstrate these skills.
From this master list you can construct different versions of your iProfile CV which best suit
the job you are applying for.
Tailoring your iProfile CV for each job
The truth is that there isn’t one perfect iProfile CV which would get you an
every job you sent it out for. But there is a perfect iProfile CV for each individual job.
Your iProfile CV should make a convincing display that you have read the job advert, understood
what it is that an employer is looking for and that you can offer the skills and experience
to do the job. It should achieve this with a minimum of fuss. Depending on which survey you
believe CVs get between 15 seconds and 5 minutes to sell you as a candidate. With so little
time available, you have to make sure that each application is customised for the occasion.
Don’t make the basic CV mistakes
If your iProfile CV has any basic errors then don’t expect to get a job anytime soon. Spelling
mistakes, grammatical errors, being wacky, missing vital information (especially contact
information), weird fonts, putting too much information (one recruiter got a CV with the
names of the applicant’s cats on it) are all elementary errors you need to avoid.
Use the right language for your CV
Many people often struggle with the language of self-promotion when
writing a CV.
Fortunately, your iProfile CV doesn’t need to be jammed with self-aggrandising statements
("If they gave gold medals for teamwork I’d win them all.") If you need to refer to yourself,
do so in the first person ("I achieved the highest sales figures every month") rather than in
the third person (as in referring to yourself by your name). A good iProfile CV shouldn’t
need to resort to the first person too much though, as you should be concentrating on using
facts and figures as your evidence rather than simple statements about your abilities
("I’m great at selling, honest.")
Avoid buzz words
There are only seven people in the whole of the UK who know what the word "synergy"
means. If you find that you are filling your iProfile with buzz words and jargon then
it’s probably because you’re making up for a shortfall of evidence or skills.
Return to your master list of experiences, skills and qualifications and use these in
your iProfile CV rather than trying to bamboozle an employer with business speak. The same
goes for technical jargon. Aim for simple statements, facts and plain words.
Length of your CV
Although it is tempting to put everything from your master list of skills on your iProfile CV
and simply let a recruiter pick out what is applicable to them, you’ve got to
customise your application to the job. An employer hasn’t got the time to make a
persuasive case on your behalf. For the old CVs it was a truism that two pages were the
absolute maximum you should go to. Just because you’re online and it makes little
difference if your document is 5k or 400MB, you should still aim to include all the
necessary facts to make a persuasive case and no more. For example try and list the skills
most appropriate to a job - a good piece of advice is to try and list no more than ten key
skills in your iProfile.
In one survey 5% of people admitted to lying on their job applications. Regardless of whether
your iProfile is a work of fiction that Jeffrey Archer would be proud of, the more important
statistic to bear in mind is that 93% of employers stated that if they discovered an
applicant had lied then they would terminate their employment. For most employers this
includes if your lies are discovered after you have got the job. In short, if you lie
when writing a CV it will forever be hanging over your head. Lying even includes
relatively "minor" things such as changing job titles to make them sound
more important, or increasing your previous salaries.
Presentation and ordering
One of the many useful things about the iProfile CV is that it formats your information for you,
so that it always looks professional and the month-long discussions about whether you should put
two or three spaces in between a heading and the content are a thing of the past. Although this
solves the question of CV presentation there is still the question of how to order your
information. The answer is that you should give the most relevant information as close to the
beginning of your CV as possible. For example when choosing which of your key skills to add to
the list make sure that the most relevant to the position are listed first.
Writing your profile statement
This is the section of an iProfile that many recruiters look at first, because it gives them
the elevator pitch for what a candidate is all about. This means that this profile statement
must be tailored to the particular job you are applying for. Generally, the profile statement
should be written in around five short sentences each emphasising a reason why you are right
for the job. Even though there is no limit to how long your profile can be, try and limit
it - don’t just re-write your entire CV. Aim for five headline reasons why you
are the right candidate for this particular job, emphasising relevant experience, qualifications
and personal attributes.
Don’t assume a recruiter will understand your terms
The line between explaining too much and too little is extremely fine. This is most evident
when it comes to the employment history section of your iProfile CV. For example, if you were
previously an account manager then the roles that are given this title vary enormously. For
that reason it is worth giving a brief description of your previous roles, as well as
highlighting three or four aspects of the
job that make it relevant to the
role you are applying for. The fact is that a recruiter might have a very different idea of
what an account manager does and unless you are clear then you might be passed over.
Many people worry about giving the names of their referees on their CV’s in case they
are contacted out of the blue and it gives away the fact that you are applying for other roles.
The quick and easy solution to this problem is to simply state "References available on
request". It can also be good depending on your field of work to offer other evidence for
a recruiter to look at - perhaps you can offer to show previous projects, articles or
drawings - again these can be made available on request. Do not forget that it is both polite
and highly advisable to ask permission from the people you are giving as your referees on your
CV. If a request drops out of the blue they might be less inclined to help you out and a
quick word beforehand can get you an altogether more glowing review.